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How to Engage Other Family Members to Reduce Primary Caregiver Burnout

Happy son walking with disabled father in wheelchair at park.

If asked, most seniors would rather live at home than move to an assisted living community. In 2020, an  estimated 10 million-plus family caregivers were providing assistance to an adult with a health or physical need. If you’re one of them, you know how demanding, and rewarding, juggling all your career, family and caregiver responsibilities can be. You also know how prevalent caregiver burnout is, or may have even felt it yourself. To help reduce caregiver burnout, this blog post will offer suggestions and solutions to ensure you’re able to care for both yourself and your loved one.


Giving Care to Yourself

After decades of thinking of your parents as your primary resource for advice and care, it can be difficult adjusting to becoming their primary caregiver. It’s only natural to want the best for them, but that can have a real impact on your overall health and happiness. To ensure you have the energy and emotional and physical wherewithal to care for someone else, you need to look after yourself. Some suggestions for reducing caregiver burnout include:

  • Family affair: As a primary caregiver it’s important to enlist the help of others without feeling bad about taking care of yourself. To build a support team, look to your spouse, teenage children, siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors or members of a congregation.
  • Duties and responsibilities: Most people are happy to lend a hand when they know what to do. Create a comprehensive list of tasks and divide them into categories like transportation, household duties and meals. Then you can list what needs to be done under each category, such as doctor visits, grocery shopping, paying bills, laundry, cleaning house, organizing social events, etc.
  • Clear communication: To prevent caregiver burnout, let your helpers know precisely how and when they can pitch in. The more specific you are, the more likely others will understand what needs to be done, and when. If your support team is new to caregiving, be sure to provide extra guidance and instruction.
  • Share information: When someone doesn’t know much about what’s going on, they’re less likely to see how and where they can help. Sharing important information about medical appointments, special events, medications and supplements, and instructions about your loved one’s daily routine can help them find an opportunity to help you.
  • Think need. Not want: Some things need to be done — medical appointments, ensuring medicines are taken on time, after-school activities for the kids. But other things are “nice to do,” like hair appointments and cleaning. It’s OK if everything on your to-do list doesn’t get done. Be sure to prioritize so you know what has to be done and what can wait for another day.
  • Let go: The best way to get help is to ask for it. Family and friends are less likely to offer help if they think you have everything under control. And if you’re resistant to asking for help because you think someone else won’t do it the way you’d do it, work on letting go of the need to have it done your way. You might be surprised at the results.
  • Seek professional help: Sometimes you realize you can’t give the care you believe you should be giving and still meet all your other responsibilities. If that happens, it might be time to talk to your loved one about moving to an assisted living community.


Finding the Care Your Loved One Needs

Being a primary caregiver is a difficult job. So is talking with your loved one about moving to a community offering assisted living, like Lake Seminole Square. When you’re ready to explore your options, contact our team. We’ve helped hundreds of families just like yours find a solution that works best for everyone.